MADISON, Wis. — The Right Honorable Gordon Brown MP, former prime minister of Great Britain, will open World Council of Credit Union's (WOCCU) 2011 World Credit Union Conference. The annual event and only global credit union conference will be held July 24-27 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Brown will offer the keynote address during the conference's opening general session on Monday, July 25. He will discuss lessons from his new book Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation and the role that credit unions can play in strengthening the financial system and communities.
Brown has been a member of the British parliament (MP) since 1983 when he was 32 years old and served as Britain's prime minister and leader of the country's Labor Party from 2007 to 2010. Prior to that appointment Brown, who succeeded Tony Blair, previously had served as the Labor Government's Chancellor of the Exchequer, running the country's Treasury department from 1997 to 2007.
As a youth, Brown displayed a talent for math and a love of sports. He and his brother devised a range of ways to raise money for Oxfam's "Freedom from Hunger" campaign, including starting a sweet shop in the family garage and producing and selling a newspaper for which Brown served as sports editor.Brown, who holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Edinburgh, has been a tireless campaigner for human rights and social change. As editor of The Student, he exposed the university's investments in apartheid South Africa, which led the school to divest itself of those investments.
Brown continued his efforts as head of the Treasury, establishing the winter fuel allowance for poor pensioners, lifting a half-million children out of poverty, introducing a minimum wage, creating the trust fund and tax credit for children and other social achievements. Brown also negotiated the government's debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries and helped stay true to its commitment to spend 0.7% on aid to the poor. He may be most recognized for devising a plan of ways in which European and the U.S. governments could stabilize the global financial sector in 2008.
"The challenge for our generation is to create global institutions that reflect our ideas of fairness and responsibility, not the ideas that were the basis of the last stage of financial development," Brown has been quoted as saying. "Combine the power of our moral sense with the power of communications and our ability to organize internationally. That, in my view, gives us the best opportunity as a community to fundamentally change the world."
For more information and to register for the World Credit Union Conference, visit www.woccu.org/glasgow2011.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.